On the Contemporaneity of Media Arts

by Inke Arns (published in: Nam June Paik Award 2006, Frankfurt am Main 2006)
Almost ten years ago with Language (property), Spanish media artist Daniel Garcia Andujar, better known under his company name Technologies to the People, developed a work which addressed the increasing privatisation and commodification of language. On a simple HTML page he listed phrases which have been registered as trademarks, and with that, had become the property of their respective owners, for example, “Where do you want to go today?TM” (Microsoft), “A better return on informationTM” (SAP), “Moving at the speed of businessTM” (UPS), “What you never thought possibleTM” (Motorola). By entitling this project “Remember, language is not freeTM” Andujar anticipated the disputes concerning “intellectual property”, which emerged in the following years (visible as early as the second half of the 1990s in the fierce battles for the allocation of domain names on the world wide web).

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VIDA 8.0, 2005

The jury for the Vida 8.0 competition in Madrid – Chris Csikszentmihalyi (USA), Daniel García Andújar (Spain), Daniel Canogar (España), José Carlos Mariátegui (Peru), Fiona Raby (UK) and Sally Jane Norman (France / New Zealand) – reviewed 69 artworks that utilise artificial life concepts and techniques, received from 23 countries. The Telefonica Foundation in Spain will give out the following awards:

FIRST PRIZE (10.000 euros):
Martin Howse, Jonathan Kemp

The desert of Southern California is a surreal wasteland of military bombing ranges and toxic waste, beautiful vistas and endangered species, and now three peculiar artificial life entities. UK Artists Martin Howse and Jonathan Kemp built these stark, semi-official looking devices at a research station run by the Center for Land Use Interpretation. In this arid landscape, Howse and Kemp hacked out what might be confused for remote meteorological stations, but are actually far more ambiguous devices. They harvest and store solar power, communicate with each other through wireless, listen to military jets, birds, and the wind, and constantly modify their own code. Their small computer displays tells us nothing — we have no way of entering their processing or conversation. They are functionally inscrutable, while nonetheless communicating a sort of technical authority. While their location is available as GPS coordinates it’s hard to imagine what one would gain by visiting them, and knowing the American Southwest they would probably be peppered with bullet holes anyway. Quixotic as they appear, they nonetheless present a challenge to our self-importance, as oblivious to our curiosity as are the desert tortoises or cacti that share their space.

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VIDA 7.0, 2004

The jury for the Vida 7.0 competition in Madrid – Chris Csikszentmihalyi (USA), Daniel García Andújar (Spain), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (MEX/CAN), José Carlos Mariátegui (Peru), Fiona Raby (UK) and Nell Tenhaaf (CAN) – reviewed 60 artworks that utilise artificial life concepts and techniques. These pieces were pre-selected from a group of 82 submissions received from 24 countries. The Telefonica Foundation in Spain will give out the following awards:

SHARED FIRST PRIZE (4,000 Euros each)
S.W.A.M.P. (Douglas Easterly / Matt Kenyon)
Spore 1.1

Spore 1.1 makes visible, in an ironic manner, the artificiality of our immediate reality by relating the business market to the ecosystem. The artist purchased a plant at the Home Depot superstore and inserted it in a mechanized installation that is connected to the Internet via a wireless connection and programmed with open source software. The installation periodically checks the value of Home Depot’s stock over the internet, activating a watering system: if share values are up the plant gets watered. The underlined paradox is that Home Depot guarantees the well being of the plant for one year and, if the plant dies due to either falling or rising share values it has to be replaced by the multinational, —a contract relating life and death.

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about RAM6


The 6th RAM workshop entitled “Social Interaction & Collective Intelligence” will take place from August 25th to 29th, 2004 in Vilnius, Lithuania, organized by Jutempus interdisciplinary art program. RAM6 takes place at CAC – Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius and in a forest out of the city.

RAM – Re-approaching New Media is a collaboration project based in Northern Europe run by separate organizations which all are exploring new media in relation to the artistic and cultural field.

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Heimatwechsel (Change of Home)

HeimatwechselInternational Student Workshop  
10 July – 10 August 2004
PhoenixHalle Dortmund

Antoni Muntadas
Daniel García Andújar
Bettina Lockemann

The Project

“Heimatwechsel” is an interdisciplinary 4-week workshop for students specialising in the areas of design, visual communication, art, media and culture sciences. The tutors of the workshop are three internationally renowned artists from the USA, Spain and Germany: Antoni Muntadas, Daniel García Andújar and Bettina Lockemann.

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A brick culture


Daniel G Andújar

A Brick Culture (2004), Daniel G. Andújar analyses corruption and town-planning in territorial organisation and their social consequences in Torrevieja, a town on the Costa Blanca, one of the most visited coasts in the country since the tourist boom of the sixties.

The newest form of corruption is urban development and land organisation

(Antonio Vercher, Supreme Court Prosecutor, inaugural lecture of the seminar Corruption: causes, effects and legal procedures, UIMP Valencia. 08-09-2003)

The number of 500 euro notes circulating in Spain has tripled. Within two years 43 million 500 euro notes have gone into circulation, that is equivalent to 21,331 million euros. According to the Bank of Spain the value of these 500 euro notes represents 35.22% of the total amount of money in circulation. But who has seen them? After the switch to the euro, the Bank of Spain detected a great wave of laundering of black money which was invested in property. The price of property has increased by 91% in five years and a large part of the property bubble created is down to corruption in urban development. Spain is the country in Europe that has consumed the most cement in the last five years. 

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The Art of Hacking – or: Communication Guerrilla as Artistic Practice with New Media

In May 2004 Susanne Jaschko gave a lecture on ‘The Art of Hacking – or: Communication Guerrilla as Artistic Practice with New Media’ and a presentation of selected video art pieces of last year’s transmediale festival during which they discussed both the aesthetics and exhibition formats of the works


In 1998 a 21 year old guy named ïto messed up the world of marketing by inventing a very unconventional marketing campaign for a Macintosh computer: the so called “hack- Mac”.  This design for a computer cited a military look with camouflage pattern and a solid-defensive casing, thus looking like both a fancy accessoire and a possible weapon. Consequently, the campaign was made up with the obvious slogan “think weapon” in the original Apple Macintosh-fond and the apple motive in slightly darkened colours.

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SITAC: Third International Symposium on Contemporary Art Theory

Third International Symposium on Contemporary Art Theory

January 22-24 2004
Teatro de los Insurgentes
Mexico City

Director: Issa Benitez Duenas
Opening Lecture: Hal Foster

The Third SITAC focuses on the concept of RESISTANCE as the topic of debate and reflection. It is indeed an ambiguous term that nevertheless seems to be revised given the recent cultural and political events. These, in addition to weakening Western democratic ideals, have shown the scant incidence the opinion of the common man has in their own social environment. Facing this situation makes the need for a critical and contentious cultural project not only desirable but also indispensable. Nevertheless it seems that a large part of artistic strategies that have been initiated in this vein have turned out to be insufficient or else they have been easily integrated within the system that they seem to question. It is in the context of this contradiction that the Third SITAC attempts to delve into the possibility of a new form of social, cultural and artistic activism, one that perhaps offers some prospect of efficacy on a smaller scale and in more immediate contexts.

Jan 22: Resistance as possibility
Speakers: Ines Garcia Canal, Boris Groys, Ole Bouman, Giuseppe Patella, Yves Michaud. Coordinator: Cuahutemoc Medina

Jan 23: Spaces and strategies of resistance
Speakers: Antoni Muntadas, Thomas Hirschhorn, Gustav Metzger, Daniel Garcia Andujar, Jota Castro. Coordinator: Tobias Ostrander

Jan 24: Resistance and seduction: the Mexican case
Speakers: Francisco Reyes Palma, Anton Vidokle, Alberto Lopez Cuenca. Coordinator: Olivier Debroise

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Cerrada la página de crítica cultural de Internet ‘e-valencia.org’

F. B. – Valencia – 25/09/2003
El País

La página de crítica y debate cultural e-valencia.org desapareció ayer de Internet debido a los actuales trabajos de renovación de los enlaces (links) incluidos en el servidor del Museo de la Universidad de Alicante (MUA), según señalaron fuentes de la institución académica. Creada por el artista alicantino Daniel Andújar, la página

ha ofrecido un espacio para la opinión de los internautas y se ha caracterizado por sus fuertes críticas a la actual gestión del IVAM, dirigido por Kosme de Barañano, y a la política cultural de la Generalitat. Junto a intervenciones y críticas razonadas se han publicado descalificaciones e insultos personales. En unos dos años, e-valencia.org ha tenido cientos de miles de visitas, trasladándose el modelo de debate a una página en Barcelona.

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El portal cultural ‘e-valencia.org’ abre página en Cataluña

EL PAÍS – Valencia – 28/04/2003

El portal de discusión de la política cultural valenciana e-valencia.org tiene ahora su correlato catalán (e-barcelona.org), según ha anunciado Daniel Andújar, el artista que puso en marcha esta iniciativa de Internet que desde diciembre de 2001 ha obtenido más de 469.000 visitas. “Tras el éxito alcanzado por nuestra herramienta e-valencia.org nos hemos propuesto presentar una nueva localización para el público interesado en el estudio y la discusión de las políticas culturales en Cataluña”, indica el texto de bienvenida al nuevo portal que surgió el día de Sant Jordi. El portal ofrece la posibilidad de establecer charlas, expresar opiniones, proponer temas y dirigir mensajes a las instituciones sobre los grandes o pequeños temas que protagonizan la vida cultural.

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